Why It’s Been Hard to Write

In September, I found a group. I joined Alex Jacob’s School of Trivia and quickly found a good group of friends. I had quit almost all of my online communities when I left social media. But to find a group of people who like to play games and who keep a positive attitude has meant and continues to mean a lot to me.

I have had a hard time staying positive for the past year. The things that once brought me joy do not. I gave up on writing about politics because I honestly hate it. I am incredibly tired of it. And I know that’s the point of the current state of affairs. But it’s not the President that annoys me the most. It’s the selfishness and anger in the air.

No one can be or should be happy. Every one has something to say and believe what they say matters as much as everyone else. Ironically, I am writing this into a blog post that I posted to the public, but based on the metrics I have on the site, about ten people read this. Regardless, I’m tired and I lack any hope that our society will begin to accept that others exist. And that everyone doesn’t need to follow their opinions or beliefs. Just because you think or feel something does not mean it is right or that you need to express it. Your words and actions affect other people. If you belittle someone’s opinion, you are belittling them. If you do not watch the words you say, post, send, or yell, you are causing pain to people who do not deserve it. And all it does is make you feel better in your own head and to make you look better to your tribe. But tearing down someone, regardless of who they are, should not be an acceptable societal norm. Yet it is. Facebook, Twitter, and all of the rest make it so you believe you can post anything into the ether so that people see it and will react to it. You do not consider the emotions of the person on the other end. Because you don’t want a reaction. If you honestly cared about someone’s opinion, you wouldn’t put it out in the world without context. And that is why I hate social media more and more everyday.

What I love about the community I found with School of Trivia is that people support each other. I have gotten more support from this group than any group I have ever encountered in less than six months. I didn’t realize how important that is in my life right now.

Work has been difficult. Life has been difficult. Everywhere I go in my “real” life, I only find people who want to complain. Not to build up or support. And I found people online who reach out and want to build a community together without exclusion. Even when someone’s feelings get hurt, we acknowledge it and talk about it. But when everything is in a public Discord channel, gossip and cliques are a bit hard to form.

But my writing has declined generally because this group keeps me up super late. I have always been in bed by 10 PM, but that’s when the group meets. I’m up until midnight almost every night. Which means that I don’t get to write in the morning because I have been sleeping in and then trying to read before heading to work.

I’m working on a schedule to get back to writing my novel and potentially here. But it won’t be about politics for a while. Politics and political discourse is about bringing people down and tribalism. And I don’t want that in my life right now.

I want to bring the positivity and good energy I receive from my new trivia friends to every aspect of my life. Everyone wants to complain; everyone wants to tear down; and everyone wants to get their opinion heard. I found people who care about me. And nothing feels better than having people around me who add to my existence.

Writing is and will be important but for where I am in my life right now, I need to have this group of friends for as long as it will exist. It’s a better use of my energy than just about everything else going on.

Comments

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  1. Lindsey Fitzharris

    One of ten, here! I miss your entries but completely understand the need to step back. You have to put your own mental health first. I’m glad you’ve found a supportive community. Let me just say though that being a writer isn’t what you do but who you are. I’ve always felt you were a writer. A brilliant one. Don’t give it up indefinitely. The world needs writers more than ever.

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      Dan

      Your support has always meant the world to me, Lindsey. Having your book on my shelf of my recent reads always motivates me to continue believing hard work pays off. It also gives me nightmares that I was born 150 years ago and will die from infection – so thanks for that too 🙂

      Definitely not giving up or stepping away for too long. I have three binders full of character maps, scene outlines, and notes. I’m hoping to get it done this year. As a recent teacher told me, just the hard part left!

      But to work on mental health and just life in general, I really wanted to express gratitude as I sat last night. I’m trying not to get pulled into the spirals of political Twitter or really just Twitter in general! Negativity spirals me really fast and focusing on good gets me out.

      And I honestly did not think I would get it from a group designed to play some games, learn trivia tactics, and hopefully help all of us get on Jeopardy! one day. But I did. It’s a really cool feeling.

  2. Mike Mullins

    Your writing has always been a source of delight and enlightenment and an example of thoughtful analysis. It is normal to be discouraged at times when expectations are not met. You just have to remember the advise I’ve given Amanda and her brother Andrew….( and probably Dave as well)………..the world is full of assholes and at any given time you might be face to face with one. Hang in there. I would miss your thoughtful discourse.
    Mike Mullins

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      Dan

      Definitely not giving up or too worried about expectations. It’s far more that something else is bringing me joy right now instead of writing or the things I have generally written about. I just highly doubt 2020 will be a year where politics fills me with anything but constant dread and fear. Instead, I wanted to write a bit of gratitude to my new friends and lay out what’s been going on to those of you that have been reading this page since I started and explain why 2019 was pretty sparse and what’s going in in early 2020.

  3. Elaine Mcdonald

    Glad you found a group that is fun and supportive. I read your emails but rarely comment. I agree about politics today. Politics were always bad however, it does seem more people can gang up now on social media. My husband and I try to block all the obvious web sites on social media our relatives and friends repost as a way of shutting it out. Keep working on your book and I hope to read it someday.

  4. Elaine Mcdonald

    Glad you found a group that is fun and supportive. I read your emails but rarely comment. I agree about politics today. Politics were always bad however, it does seem more people can gang up now on social media. My husband and I try to block all the obvious web sites on social media our relatives and friends repost as a way of shutting it out. Keep working on your book and I hope to read it someday. This website doesn’t let me post a comment using my email that I posted from a long time ago so trying a different email.

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